Sorry, but don’t see the draw of the 357 MAG

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by LeftyRed, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    But that's sort of the point many of us are trying to make. A revolver chambered in .357 Magnum is the same size as one chambered in .38 Special but can shoot both cartridges, which the .38 Special cannot. No downside to the Magnum if you only want to shoot Specials but you can "step up" to something more powerful if you ever want to. It's truly having your cake and eating it too (much like having a .44 Magnum instead of a .44 Special revolver). I'm not opposed to .38 Special handguns; at last count I have six of them.
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Yep, I have the equipment to reload every cartridge that I have guns to shoot them except for 22 rim fire. At current count that is 17 different handgun cartridges.

    I can tailor ammunition to my wants and weather shortages if I have components on hand. Many components can be used in numerous applications.

    (add in the rifle cartridges and the number is something north of 30)
     
  3. GeoW

    GeoW Member

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    Maine Coon Cat? Least you have something to shoot at..
     
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  4. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    I love the .38Spl but IMHO, the .357 is vastly overrated. It's more bark than bite and I really think most people like them for shooting cheap .38's. That said, I probably own more .357's than many .357 fans but most importantly, two have recently been sent out to become something more useful, .44 Specials. A moderately loaded big bore will do everything the .357 will do and more, without making your ears bleed.

    This is one of my few .357's that will remain its original chambering and high on the list of guns that stay.

    IMG_0095b.jpg

    While the top and bottom guns in this pic have been sent off to Andy Horvath and Jack Huntington.

    IMG_0287b.jpg
     
  5. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    .357 was one of the last calibers I got for a revolver, my first was the .45 Colt/ACP Redhawk because I wanted a revolver that could shoot .45 ACP, was DA, and since I already had gotten the .45 Colt cylinder for black powder revolvers, I wasn't divesting myself of the caliber. After that, it was .327 Mag, I really wanted a .32 revolver and I've only gotten 4 or 5 more since, only thing I'm missing now is a true .32 S&W (not S&W Long) top break. They were smaller than the .32 Long top breaks, lighter, and have a proper chamber for getting the most out of the smaller cartridge, which I believe is capable of 12 inches penetration in gel.

    So, why did it take me so long to get into .357? The problem was finding the right one at a good price. I didn't care for the GP100 or 686, I wasn't looking for a .357 that large at the time, but I also didn't want a snub J frame. I don't like the SP101, Ruger wasn't making the LCRx at the time in .357, I wasn't hip to Taurus at the time (am now tho) which left me with one option: vintage Charter Arms. I like that they were 5 shot, light, but were available in 4 and 6 inch barrels and were not expensive. I have two now, would shoot them more if I had primers available, but even if I had an endless supply of primers, I still wouldn't shoot .357 that much, the .32 Mag and .327 just appeal to me so much more.

    The major benefit that .357 has over the .32's is there's more brass to pick up free at the range. I've never bought just .38 or .357 brass and I have more cases than I do .32 brass. One thing I do is I load the .38 brass to max +P power, sometimes even above that, and shoot it thru the .357's. Significantly more power than standard .38, but not punishing like real .357 is. I like that, but can't do that safely in just a .38 revolver.

    Out of a rifle, the .357 has more power than .327, but so too does a .44 or .45 Colt. The .357 is cheaper than .44 or .45 to shoot, but .32 is even cheaper than .357 or .38.

    Yeah, the .38 and .357 are in the Goldilocks zone, it's "just right" for most every use, but not perfect or closer to it than every other caliber. I don't need or want "just right" in my revolver and lever actions, I want perfect. .32 and .45 are more perfect for me than .357 and .38 can ever be.

    They're still fun tho.
     
  6. Mgderf

    Mgderf Member

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    Do you mean something like this?
    I just picked this up at an auction last week.
    First model Iver Johnson Safety Automatic in .32 S&W IMG_20220613_125659024.jpg IMG_20220613_125659024.jpg IMG_20220613_125629917.jpg
     

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  7. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

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    The .357 Magnum is the best option for the non-reloader who wants the capability to go from mild to wild with commonly found factory ammunition.

    -Stan
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    .357 Mag must definitely suck, there are only a bajillion cool .357 Mag revolvers out there, and you know how the manufacturers like to make stuff that doesn't sell. :)
     
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  9. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    [​IMG]

    357MAG is so lame I only own one revolver chambered for it.
     
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  10. King Medallion

    King Medallion Member

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    Never been a big fan of the 357, shot my 1st handgun deer with a NM Blackhawk. Have just the one now, an OM Blackhawk. I prefer my big bore 44-40's and 45Colts.
    lvawMSNFX4TrMAMCKr_1AnQ3pv5Eb7vbRPURMpdFddrMsjCVEOKJoleRUEv?cn=THISLIFE&res=medium&ts=1576371565.jpg
     
  11. Targa

    Targa Member

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    To each their own but for me a world without .357mag would just be sad…:(
     
  12. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    This is not my line, I borrowed it from another site, but it is something to ponder: 357 Magnum - The Most Powerful Enough Handgun in the World

    Let me start by saying I do love my .4's and above. My favorite is the .45 Colt. I can load it to do whatever I need at this point in my life. However I really like shooting the .357 as well. My favorite loads are 158's around 1150. They don't have a ton of recoil, hit hard enough for my area, and are very accurate. The guns that fire them are smaller than my .4's, ammo is smaller and lighter, and I can carry more of it when I am hiking. I am kind of sounding like I am making an argument for the AR-15... I also like that reloading components are usually cheaper, meaning I can shoot more.

    For the casual shooter, I think the .357 is a better choice than a .44M or a .45 Colt. Ammo is more common, most shops carry a wide variety at both ends of the spectrum and casual shooters often find the .357 at the upper end of what they can shoot comfortably. Obviously on this site we have seasoned shooters, handgunners, and handloaders who can make the perfect load for their gun/caliber, but the average joe just wants to buy some ammo and go shoot. The .357 is also a good pair for a rifle. It has substantially less recoil than a .44M or a hot .45 Colt yet remains disproportionally powerful. I realize that a traditionally loaded .45 Colt is a soft shooter, but is more expensive to shoot and is harder to find ammo for.


    I understand why folks can be underwhelmed with the .357 but it does a lot of things right.

    I will be keeping mine and enjoying them. And keeping my .44's and .45 Colts as well. I never really get the argument that you can only have or enjoy one caliber.....

     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2022
  13. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    I really thought .357 Magnum was a beast when I first shot some out of my 686+ snubby, but after shooting 44 Magnums out of the 6-inch Virginian Dragoon SA, the .357 Magnums aren't so bad. Still I prefer shooting Specials in either gun.
     
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  14. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Yup. I'm an H&R guy, but a 5 shot top break with as short a barrel as possible since .32 S&W gets next to nothing more in velocity with more barrel.
     
  15. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    Not a 32, but a similar cartridge in the H&R Model 925 . I would grab one if I ran across one at the gun shop for the right price. My dad bought one in the 1950s and I have the receipt, but we never found the gun.
     
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  16. Styx

    Styx Member

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    This is my take. I exclusively prefer 357 and 44 mag revolvers because they offer more options, versatility, and zero downside over 38spc and 44spc revolvers. I also like and enjoy the BOOM, muzzle flash, and recoil of the magnums. It's sort of like the same thrill some get out of shooting fullauto, and 50 cal and 50bmg firearms...

    FYI, in a lightweight J-frame sized snubby, I'll carry specials, but when I am carrying a L-frame* or the like sized revolver, I will EDC magnums. The OP probably doesn't see the point of magnums because he only is use to shooting and carrying small j-frame sized revolvers. With larger and heavier revolvers, magnums aren't as bad.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
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  17. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    The .357 is a decent cartridge that has many applications. The revolver I am most enamored with right now is my 13-4. The RB K-Frame makes for easy carrying and packs enough punch to suffice for personal defense. In cooler weather I normally opt for a larger caliber N-Frame, and when out in the back forty a .45 Colt, .44 magnum, or .41 magnum normally gets the nod.

    51833855747_90382d6e26_b.jpg
     
  18. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You don't have to change barrels and magazines to shoot .38, unlike shooting when shooting .40 from a 10mm.
    The one down side is you do have to clean the ring in the chambers out if you've shot a lot of .38 and then want to shoot .357.
     
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  19. Archie

    Archie Member

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    .357 Magnum dates from 1935 - according to the legends. At that time and until 1956 - when the .44 Magnum was released - it was the most powerful production sidearm made. (Yes, there were Howdah pistols, but were not 'production' in the same sense). Until 1955 the .357 Magnum cartridge was available in the N frame S&W. Ruger Blackhawk introduced in 1955 as well, but was then based on the full size Blackhawk frame. Both the N frame and the Blackhawk were (relatively) heavy revolvers and the recoil was not so bad.
    Then in 1955 the Combat Magnum (later the model 19) appeared. Much lighter than the N frame. Still, recoil was manageable if not pleasant.

    Skip a number detail steps. Now the makers - various - can put out a rather small sized and light weight (allow frame) revolver. Obviously lighter weight makes for more apparent recoil.
    The rise of the 5.56x45mm (aka the .223 Remington) suggests the average shooter demands a lighter recoiling firearm. As does the popularity of .380 ACP for defense. So anything with greater recoil - regardless of power and utility - is not as popular.

    Me? I carry either a Colt Commander (lightweight) in .45 ACP or a three inch barreled K frame revolver in .38 Special (but not the 'disservice' round) and devote myself to placing good first shots.
    I have to say I am enamored of the three and one-half inch N frame, but it's not as convenient to carry concealed.
     
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  20. shafter

    shafter Member

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    Most people buy 357's because they love the idea of being able to shoot two types of ammunition through them even though most never will. This is especially true of the small revolvers.
     
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  21. gonoles_1980

    gonoles_1980 Member

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    I use a .357 LCR for my carry, I shoot handloaded .357's at the range, carry factory 38+P for self defense. Really won't want to shoot factory 357's through it. Though with the price of ammo now days, I may just stick with my 357 loads. I also have a Bisley Vaquero fun gun to shoot. I shoot more robust rounds out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2022
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  22. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Maybe I am an anomaly but I don't feel a real difference between carrying a L frame vs a K frame. I carry a 686+ in K-frame holster with factory self defense 357 mag ammo. With Hogue rubber grips, the recoil is very manageable.

    I have fired factory 357 out of my LCR. The recoil was so bad that the factory WWB ammo I was shooter jumped crimp, and cause it to lock up in the cylinder. Was a PITA to fix.
     
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  23. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Shot a Taylors .38Spl small frame and a Pietta .357Magnum, both styled after the Colt's "Frontier Six-Shooter" - I won't call them 1873's or SAA because they're not, they're knock-offs of the commercial Frontier Six-Shooter variant of the Model P. The .357Mag load was 15.4gr of Enforcer under a 142gr. TC-FMJ. Lots of muzzle blast and boom but not much recoil. The bullet's light enough not to push too hard and the Great Western II Pietta has a "Lightning" style grip frame that absorbs recoil nicely. It's leaving the 5-1/2" barrel at around 1350fps so it's got some punch to it but, it's mostly just a fun a plinker. Scared some folks and drew a lot of oohs-n-aahs. :) Did real good ringing the 100 yard plate, too, which is hard for me typically since I can't actually see 100 yards anymore. :( I kinda had to guess.

    Nice thing about a .357 is, you can load it with a light bullet and a slow powder and get some real yardage with less drop than a heavier, larger-diameter bullet. Even if they both start out at the same velocity, the .357 will typically lose less than the same shaped .44 or .45 over a longer range.
     
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  24. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Many shoot 40S&W in their 10mm Auto. With a S&W 610 or GP100 10mm its not very controversial but a fair number do it in their 10mm Auto semi-autos too.

    As we have discussed many times before here at the THR I think this carbon ring thing is, though real, a pretty rare thing to be bad enough to cause an actually problem. IMHO the internet has made the carbon ring into a far worst problem than it is for most shooter. Someone told me it would be an issue and after ~1200 round of 38 Short Colt in my S&W 627 I dropped a moonclip of 357 Magnum into the gun fired them and ejected them without issue. I have done the same after hundreds of rounds of 40 S&W in a 610, and drop a 10mm moonclip in, fire and extract without issue.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2022
  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    True, you do have to shoot a lot of rounds to get enough buildup to make putting rounds in the cylinder tough, but I have had it happen. Maybe I was using dirtier powder....IIRC I used 700-X in .38 and Blue Dot in .357.
     
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